Much of what is known about towns and town life in earlysociety is drawn from archaeological investigation, the observations of , and the work of , who between 1607 and 1609 explored and mapped the Chesapeake Bay area. Through a combination of these sources, we know that most Virginia Indian towns were located close to and along waterways, which were both a source of and drinking water and a means of transport. Towns generally conformed to one of two layouts: a dispersed settlement pattern, in which the were scattered according to which fields were being cultivated at the time; and a nucleated settlement pattern, in which a palisade surrounds a tightly packed group of houses. The latter layout was usually found in frontier areas, where the threat of attack by enemy tribes was greater. Indian towns were busy, intensely social places and each resident, regardless of age or sex, was expected to play a particular role. This resulted in a tight-knit community that could be supportive, but constricting. Privacy was limited, so great emphasis was placed on and on releasing tension through a nightly group activity like singing and dancing. The quality of life in Indian towns declined in after the English arrived and began to encroach on Indian land.